Los Angeles is moving forward with a plan to ease traffic congestion by synchronizing all of the city's 4,398 stoplights. While smaller municipalities have followed similar plans in the past, LA is the first major city to take a stab at getting all of its lights to play nice together. If it works, the new system could increase average traffic speeds by 16 percent and reduce travel times by 12 percent. We imaging reducing the amount of time cars spend idling at a stop light should help reduce fuel consumption by a decent margin as well.

LA Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa has said the move will reduce the city's carbon emissions by one metric ton while saving drivers one day of waiting in traffic at the same time. The system can also be utilized by emergency responders to reduce response times for ambulances and fire trucks. You can watch a local news report on the switchover below.



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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 73 Comments
      Kuro Houou
      • 1 Year Ago
      This should be mandatory around the country, If the government is serious about reducing gas usage they should make every city and town above a certain population adopt this. Car companies are struggling to get every mpg out of their car, this is a easy way to also help curb dependence on gasoline!
      trzjax
      • 1 Year Ago
      Supposedly unsynchronized lights help lower the speed of traffic bringing down pedestrian hitting accidents... but most of those are caused by drunkards or just idiots who cross the road without looking at traffic. All of this comes at cost of more emissions and massive amount of everybody's wasted time and nerves. And it's NOT 12% time reduction, no way. My commute involves 20 red lights placed like every 100 feet. When they're all green (which happens at night), my commute is 8 minutes. When they're all red, my commute is between 20-25 minutes and involves fantasies about getting a double barrel gun and blasting goddamn lights one by one until not a single red one is left in the city. /mad
      Rob
      • 1 Year Ago
      Next up, higher taxes to make up lost revenue from the fuel savings.
        Joeviocoe
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Rob
        No, just a typical Tea Party nut job.... viewing the world as it applies to his taxes.
        desinerd1
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Rob
        and the award for most pessimistic person in the country goes to.... Rob
      Sw
      • 1 Year Ago
      Welcome to 50 years ago.
      troy
      • 1 Year Ago
      A new concept? Before 'on demand' lights became the norm in the 1980's, most lights in most cities were in-sync with each other.
      JasonERF
      • 1 Year Ago
      I guess I was a bit clueless to assume most cities already used some form of this? That news report didn't have much substance...
        Mr E
        • 1 Year Ago
        @JasonERF
        Me too -- I assumed this was common, at least for main roads. Apparently, we're geniuses beyond our time, at least if we were city planners.
        icerabbit
        • 1 Year Ago
        @JasonERF
        It might have something to do with political motivations & aspirations (or lack thereof), but primarily the high costs of required 3rd party case & impact studies and the cost of replacing / upgrading a thousand control boxes, wiring up cameras, installing road sensors etc and linking them together to a central command. I forgot how much it was, but our small town spent a boatload of money on upgrading the lights around town, cameras, sensors, etc. The only benefit really is for first responders. They've got the remote priority switch (which is a good thing) and the rest of us traveling in a straight line still have to randomly stop at the next light after having just started 30 secs earlier. On the main drag in and out of town, there's no synchronization along the entire stretch, and at some of the lights you can't turn left for 2 minutes without any other traffic. Or you can approach from a side street, without any traffic on the main drag and wait 45secs for the light to change? I had also hoped with synchronization that we could minimize the number of people gunning yellow and running red so they can go on their merry way. Especially the last intersection approaching the interstate is bad, where people don't want to stop again. But, I guess we didn't pay for the synchronization package / upgrade.
      vizcarmb
      • 1 Year Ago
      They need to do this in the Bay Area
        Thereminator
        • 1 Year Ago
        @vizcarmb
        San Diego too... synchronized lights didn't fit into anyone's political agenda,so its taking awhile for state government to actually do its job and SERVE its taxpayers. At least we got rid of red camera lights.
      DRILLER
      • 1 Year Ago
      Now if all american Cities could follow suit and if they maintain the synchronisation beyond just the end of public rememberence of this article.
      2 wheeled menace
      • 1 Year Ago
      It's 2013 and they're finally getting to this.. Well, right on.
      fscharer
      • 1 Year Ago
      I applaud them, I wish more cities would do this.
      colloc
      • 1 Year Ago
      It isn't the perfect solution, but it should help. Driving in LA can be a nightmare, of course, the same can ALWAYS be said for driving the freeways. If I never have to drive the 405 again it will suit me fine.
      Koz
      • 1 Year Ago
      Actually it works great if your the first car and go on green, you should make the rest. If your the second and the first is a turtle or forget what green mean you are screwed.
        Fred Talmadge
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Koz
        Actually it only works if everyone in the group drives the speed limit. Too fast or slow and it starts to accordion.
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